Why tour Upper Antelope Canyon? These 9 photos reveal all

Jessica Peterson

Upper Antelope Canyon, Arizona

I always say that some tourist traps live up to the hype. I try never to be a travel snob. If a destination calls to me, I go — even if that means fighting crowds.

Upper Antelope Canyon by definition could qualify as a tourist trap, and physically the canyon could be a claustrophobic’s nightmare. Hundreds of people squeeze through underground walls that are, in some places, only shoulder-width.

But don’t let that stop you from going. There is a reason this is the most photographed slot canyon in the world. It’s worth the $48 admission fee, the bumpy and dusty truck ride through the desert, and yes, the crowds. Your neck will be sore from admiring this 360-degree sculptured masterpiece, but your soul will be satisfied.

The Navajos have such deep appreciation for this place, they pause before entering to reflect reverentially on its grandeur.

There certainly is something enigmatic about these 120-feet walls that seem to be carved by the hand of God. The knowledge that lives can be lost deepens your respect for such a place. You see, the canyon was carved by water and if it floods, there may be no way out. This is partly why a guide is required.

Located on Navajo land, Upper Antelope Canyon is only accessible via a paid tour. There is a daily photographer’s tour, but check times before you go. It might happen first thing in the morning. The photographer’s tour is less crowded, nearly triple the price, and requires a DSLR and tripod. Tripods are not allowed, however, on the regular tours. Although the tours move quickly, your guide will give you time to stop and take pictures. All of my photos were taken on the regular tour. My guide was very knowledgeable and even pointed out the best photographic angles.

>> READ NEXT:  12 Ways Not to Travel Like a Tourist

Located east of Page, Arizona, Upper Antelope Canyon is relatively close to Horseshoe Bend and the Grand Canyon. See those spots or check out the rainbow mountains I hiked.

Upper Antelope Canyon, ArizonaUpper Antelope Canyon, ArizonaUpper Antelope Canyon, ArizonaUpper Antelope Canyon, ArizonaUpper Antelope Canyon, ArizonaUpper Antelope Canyon, ArizonaUpper Antelope Canyon, ArizonaUpper Antelope Canyon, Arizona

Jessica Peterson
Follow me

Jessica Peterson

Jessica Peterson is a travel filmmaker, photographer, and journalist. She released her first documentary film about indigenous culture on Guam in 2016, after having lived nearly 7 years on the Pacific island. Jessica is currently on the Great American Roadtrip in her Airstream trailer.
Jessica Peterson
Follow me
  • Clare Colley

    It looks so beautiful. I can’t believe I didn’t have time to visit here or Horseshoe Bend!! Next time I am in the US I will be making sure I have time to fit this place in 🙂

  • I love seeing photos of Antelope Canyon–it’s such an incredibly unique place. I can’t wait to make it out there someday. And it’s good to see that you can get great photos without having to take the photo tour!

  • These Canyons look amazing, my partner and I are hoping to visit them after our Wedding in Vegas! What is the best time to visit would you say?

  • Lydia@Lifeuntraveled.com

    How beautiful – nature is absolutely fascinating! I didn’t know there was an entrance fee to visit the canyons but I can understand why you would need a guide.

    • Yes, entrance fees for most everything except Horseshoe Bend and White Pocket, which I cover in separate posts.

  • Neha Verma

    I could never believe the pictures before. But now, I so very much want to visit here. Beautiful snaps indeed

  • Editor-in-Style Good

    These are breathtaking shots of a beautiful god-made area. The formations are just spectacular! Antelope Canyon is now on my bucket list.

  • I totally agree with you – some tourist traps definitely live up to the hype, and I will always travel to them with an open mind. This place looks incredible and I agree with you – looks worth the $48 admission fee. I would love to visit it one day.

  • Natasha Welch

    I’m absolutely in love with any pictures taken here! The rock forms and colours are so crazy and unique. Hoping to visit sometime 🙂

  • Sonia Sahni

    Lovely pictures! Is it hot here? Whats the best time to go…which months should I plan my trip? Which is the closest international airport that I can land in?